LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The upper parking lot of Cashman Center will turn into a temporary homeless "shelter" following the closure of Catholic Charities, according to a joint statement from the City of Las Vegas and Clark County.
The open-air location, called a temporary shelter by city and county officials, opened Saturday night (March 28) and remains open through April 3. The statement said they expect Catholic Charities to reopen in that time.
"We're planning for seven days, but certainly that's really dependent on how quickly Catholic Charities gets reopened and how quickly the other facility is open," said County Commissioner Justin Jones.
A homeless client recently tested positive for COVID-19, announced by the Southern Nevada Health District earlier this week. The man had used services at Catholic Charities and the Homeless Courtyard run by the city.
Due to the closure of Catholic Charities, we are joining with @CityOfLasVegas & area homeless providers to set up a temporary shelter @ Cashman Center. It will open tonight & run through April 3rd, when Catholic Charities will reopen #coronavirus #Vegas pic.twitter.com/XGWaREYbFq— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) March 28, 2020
About 500 people were put out with no overnight shelter. The Courtyard was expanded on Foremaster Lane, and the Cashman site will be expanded, as well, to allow for social distancing.
"It'll be an open-air facility that will allow them a safe and facility to come in. Spend the night, especially since the fact that Catholic Charities takes in about 500-plus a person tonight," said Ward 5 City Councilman Cedric Crear.
The temporary set-up will be operating from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Anyone with mobility problems or is in fragile condition will be accommodated at the courtyard, the release said.
"Our goal is not to turn anybody away," Crear said.
The sea of blue mats is part of a temporary shelter for the #homeless, who will be spaced at least six feet apart, @ Cashman Center. It will open tonight & be open through April 3rd, when Catholic Charities, now closed, will reopen. #coronavirus #Vegas pic.twitter.com/FkoJUAjc1X— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) March 28, 2020
Building spaces at Cashman Center are being reserved by the city for potential hospital overflow.
Freeman's Carpet Service, GES Exposition Services and the Teamsters were helping in getting the shelter set up.
"We've had Republic Services donating trash resources, Touro University med students will be over here doing screening, so we've really seen the community come together," said Jones. "All the government agencies and other folks to make sure that we serve our homeless population."